Lazarus, our brother
(from John 11:17–44)
Dead, poor thing: we dreamed of him,
those few days, crying, threshing,
in his stone room—no stories, no songs, his sisters
gone away. —Raised, he capers again
along the goat-tracks, yoohoos from the hills:
but the boys have stopped their tormenting—no fun to it,
him not minding. He lies at night, quiet,
eyes gleaming in the starlight. —Jolt of carcass, lurch
of clotty stenchy blood: to God’s dear fool,
nothing is strange. —When I was dead . . . he doesn’t ask.
Remember how he came out, unsurprised,
still smelling of spices, his grave-bands trailing?